Mary’s Mission: Celebrating with Jesus

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By: Mary Arcement Alexander

I love celebrating my birthday. Ask my husband, my family or any of my friends, and they will all agree that I celebrate big. My birthday is at the beginning of October, but I celebrate all month long. I know it sounds a bit much, but honestly, I love doing it because I am so grateful for every year God gives me. Imagine if Jesus was here to celebrate His birthday this month. Do you think He would celebrate all month long? Probably not. I have the feeling He would probably not want much attention and would hate having “Happy Birthday” sung to him at dinner while the whole restaurant looks on. I imagine He would intentionally be quiet that day so as not to draw too much attention. I see Him saying no to a birthday cake and yes to cookies for all the children. I see Him showing up at His party with dozens of gifts for everyone. I see Him smiling and laughing as children run about. I hear Him sigh sighs of joy and happiness. I feel the warmth of His hug as He thanks us all for coming.

Now, imagine that Jesus comes down from heaven and says, “(Your name), I want to celebrate my birthday with you. Just the two of us. What shall we do?” What would you say to Him? Would you want to sit at His feet and simply relish every moment with Him like Mary? Would you want to be like Martha and make Him dinner? Perhaps you are the adventurous type and want to take Him somewhere you have never been. I realize for some of you this kind of imagining may seem difficult or even silly, but I ask you to indulge me for a moment and allow your imagination to run wild. Give yourself permission to step outside of your comfort zone as you pull up a picture in your mind of this magnificent day with Jesus.  I want you to think big and in detail. Jesus, our Lord and Savior, has just requested you to spend this special day with Him. How do you feel in His presence? What does He look like in your mind? What kind of clothes is He wearing? What does He smell like? Perfume? Frankincense? How do you want to spend the day with Jesus? More importantly, do you feel worthy to spend this day with Him? I pray you answered yes to the last question, brothers and sisters, because even though you may not literally be spending the day with Him, He loves you big! He wants to spend every day with you because you are more than worth it. You are one of His greatest gifts.

When I imagine the two of us celebrating His birthday, I see myself both sitting at His feet like Mary, as well as doing something fun and adventurous together. As I sit at His feet, I cannot take my eyes off Him. His face is unlike any face I have ever seen, His eyes are the deepest shade of brown, they are warm and loving, and they captivate me. As I hold His hand, I feel the roughness of calluses formed after years of carpentry and other labor. I gaze at His skin, which is dark in color and lined from years spent in the sun. I hang on His every word and feel pure elation in my heart. I tell Him I want to end the day hiking up the mountains where we will find the perfect spot to watch the sunset. He nods in agreement for He too loves the mountains. He leads me as we move towards the mountaintop. I watch every step He takes and I carefully follow. Our conversation flows naturally and I discover that He has a sense of humor. This realization makes my heart smile, for I love to laugh and who better to laugh with than Jesus!         As we arrive at our final destination for the day, He finds the perfect spot next to a large rock where we both find rest. I sit next to Him and as He holds my hand, my entire body fills up with a peace I have never known. I rest my head on His shoulder and gaze softly at the most beautiful sunset. It is the perfect ending to the perfect day. Before I drift off to sleep, I whisper “Happy birthday, Jesus.” I ask Him if today was what He thought, and without saying a word He squeezes my hand and I feel the smile on His face. Yes, it was a truly magnificent day.

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

 

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